PLEASANT PLAINS, Ill. (WCIA) – Friends and family of a Pleasant Plains High School football player who collapsed during a game are hosting a movie night to show their support for him and his family.
Danny Carney, Jayden Veesenmeyer’s teammate, came up with the idea.
“When we got back to school, the Monday after everything happened, he contacted me and another teacher and said, ‘I’m ready to do something, I’m ready to put a fundraiser together,’” Samantha Washko, a teacher at Pleasant Plains, said.
Carney attended a vigil outside of Veesenmeyer’s hospital room in Springfield last month, and told WCIA he appreciated seeing communities come together with Pleasant Plains to support Veesenmeyer.
“To see not only Plains but all these surrounding schools and families supporting him, it means everything,” Carney said.
Carney, Washko and other teachers and classmates of Veesenmeyer are putting together the movie night. They’re hosting it at the Sherman Village Park Amphitheater on Saturday.
“[It’s] an opportunity for our students, our community, surrounding communities, that could all kind of come together and just show our love and support for Jayden,” Washko said.
The event is free, but they’re accepting cash donations for Veesenmeyer and his family. An online fundraiser continues to collect donations that will go to Veesenmeyer. According to a post on the website from Oct. 18, Veesenmeyer’s condition has improved but he is still on the road to recovery.
“Following something like this, not only will there be medical bills, but things outside of that, that you have to think about [including] traveling back and forth from the hospital or therapy appointments,” Washko said. “We just wanted to do … anything that we could, to help assist with that.”
Washko said Carney deeply cares about seeing his classmates succeed, and that he wants to spread the word about Veesenmeyer to get more support for him and his family.
“He wants to try to get as many supporters out there for Jayden and his recovery as he possibly can,” Washko said.
Saturday’s event kicks off at 5 p.m. and the movie starts at 6:30 p.m. They will be showing “Remember the Titans.” There will also be food and other activities there as well. All of the money from food purchases will go to Veesenmeyer and his family.